If 2020 didn’t convince you, it’s safe to say that TikTok solidified its place as the reigning champion of social media this year. Whether you found yourself lost in the algorithm or taking up a new hobby every two weeks, there’s a high chance that the app had a surprisingly large impact on your life.
For guitar players, there was no shortage of videos on #GuitarTok (if you follow @Orangewood, you’d already know that). From educational tips to inside jokes, Circle of Fifths to Wonderwall, some of our favorite guitar content this year was right on TikTok. Let’s take a look back on 2021’s top 10 #GuitarTok moments.
Pretending to be a Beginner, and then Shredding
Everyone remembers the feeling of walking into a guitar store for the first time (unless you’re an Orangewood purist)! It’s your first chance to play the gear you’ve only dreamed of owning — the only catch is that you’re in front of a few judgmental employees. Will it be “Smoke On The Water” or “Stairway”? Now imagine the satisfaction of proving the disbelieving onlookers wrong and busting out a godly solo… For that one, we’ll have to live vicariously through @jondretto.
“Then Play a Barre Chord.”
There’s no greater threat to a guitarist's ego than a challenge like this. We know all of our readers would have no problem answering this call (since you’ve read our How to Play a Barre Chord article), but for others, playing a barre chord is the final boss before earning the title of “guitarist.” Inspiring countless duets like the one from @stephenbulman above, the original video garnered responses from all of #guitartok’s best, at the ready to prove themselves.
Life-Changing Life Hacks
TikTok has a way of enlightening all of us with various life hacks, from instant headache cures to ways around washing your dishes. Some life hacks are not quite as helpful… but they definitely are funny. Who would have thought to have the guitar facing the other way?! Well, pretty much everyone, but we still think these deserve a chuckle.
Black Bear Spotted in a Parking Garage
Reply to @doofus31 Finally Complete #fyp♬ original sound - NashCash
Turning Tweets into songs is an almost surefire ticket to a viral video. @nashvillecash takes the crown for our favorite of 2021 with his parody of the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” A black bear found itself wandering in a parking garage, creating the almost-too-perfect setup for Cash’s eerily impressive Paul McCartney impersonation. His Echo Vintage Sunburst Live sounds great, too.
Acoustic Studio Took Us Into Nature
This is pretty much every player’s dream: just you, an acoustic guitar, and nature. @acousticstudio took us to this dreamland in all of their videos. In 2021, we got to hear our favorite classic jams in locations from a serene lakeside to the deep forest. Who could resist being whisked away into this fantasy?
“Sunflower” Took Over
Step aside, “Seven Nation Army” and “Come As You Are.” With a whopping 25 million views and 4.5 million likes, Rex Orange County’s “Sunflower” may have just topped the charts as the new essential beginner riff. Alongside Arctic Monkey’s “Do I Wanna Know?” and Cage the Elephant’s “Cigarette Daydreams,” TikTok ushered in a new crop of first step songs for the newest generation of guitar players.
Choose Your Character
If all of the guitar player stereotypes were characters in a video game, which one would you choose to play as? This trend posed that question to us, and we answered, getting down to their strengths, weaknesses, and guitars of choice.
"Wrong Answers Only."
Cunningham’s Law states that the best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, but to post the wrong answer. There’s no better trend that sums up that adage (and the sass of TikTok’s comment sections) than this one. We couldn't help but ask for the wrong name of this essential guitar accessory, and we loved the responses we got.
John Mayer Joins TikTok
Okay, this one might not be technically on #GuitarTok (although his Neon tutorial is), but we would be remiss not to mention this incredible crossover. John Mayer’s first appearance felt revolutionary for the state of #GuitarTok. For days, it was all over every guitarist’s For You Page; you couldn’t scroll for two minutes without seeing duets poking fun at his “boomer” status or playthroughs of “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.”
This meme feels like it’s been around since the beginning of the internet, and somehow, it never gets old. The experience of seeing a guitarist slap their capo on the second fret must be a ubiquitous one, given how many people relate to this joke. And, yes, we’re still making these jokes in 2022, we promise.
Looking forward to that and more? Drop the @orangewood official TikTok page a follow for a constant stream of fresh #GuitarTok content! You won’t want to miss out on our offerings, from comedy gold to insightful tips and more.